Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (Public Organization) or TCEB released results of its recent market survey conducted in 20 countries showing that Thailand has been rated the most preferred MICE destination which the survey participants would like to revisit for their future business/MICE trips. Followed by Japan and Singapore, Thailand secured the top spot with the delight factors in hospitality, value for money, good variety of international and local cuisine and MICE activities. Meanwhile, TCEB also announced that Thailand is chosen to be the host country for the international conferences organised by the world’s leading associations in events and travel incentive industries namely UFI and SITE. These significant events which to take place in Bangkok next year will be emphasising Thailand’s potential and the position as leading MICE destination in the region.
Mr. Chiruit Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya, President of TCEB said that TCEB is tasked with promoting and developing business events in Thailand. The bureau has been working toward establishing Thailand as premier MICE destination and elevating the country to be the Top of Mind Destination for MICE. In order to identify the strengthens of Thailand to better attract the overseas MICE markets, TCEB needs to study key factors that influence the destination choice, evaluate Thailand MICE destination image, and measure the competitiveness of Thailand when compared to other MICE destinations.
Recently, TCEB had assigned the Custom Asia Co., Ltd., a member of Global Market Research Association which has a network in 39 countries, to conduct a market survey on Thailand's brand image as a Destination for MICE. The research, which took place in 20 countries, focused on global MICE professionals and their outlooks on Thailand’s MICE brand. There were 40 MICE professionals participated the online bulletin board, and 649 took part in the online survey. These survey participants comprised of four segments which are 1.MICE Players 2.Business Travellers 3.MICE Visitors and 4.Association and Organization related to MICE.
“The overall result shows that Thailand is the most visited MICE destination. The country is also ranked a top list as a preferred destination which more than 85% the survey participants who have travelled to Thailand on business/MICE trips would like to revisit for their business/MICE trips in the future. In the same survey, Japan and Singapore ranked the second and third place respectively. Meanwhile, the participants see that when compared Thailand against the other MICE destinations, Thailand’s delights factors are great hospitality, value for money, and a good variety of international and local cuisine.
In addition, the result shows that Thailand secured the first rank as the choice for MICE destination. According to the survey, the country features strengths in three areas which are 1. Basic Requirement: connection hub, international standard accommodation, and great facilities 2. Delight Factors: great hospitality and delicious local cuisine 3. Unique Experience: culture & heritage and abundance of nature. Furthermore, the destination also offers a wide variety of activities beyond MICE, good accessibility to/from destination, endless business opportunities, and the uniqueness”, said Mr.Chiruit.
Mr. Sukit Tanskul, CEO of Custom Asia Co., Ltd., said that the survey also shows interesting results about main criteria in selecting MICE destinations. These criteria can be considered as important factors which MICE destination needs, they are: value for money, international standard accommodation, good accessibility, English proficiency, and compliance with corporate governance.
When analysing the criteria by segments, the survey shows that MICE Players look for ease of travel within the country. MICE visitors look for hospitality and value for money, Business travellers look for good destination image and reputation, while MICE associations also look for within the budget accommodation choices, English proficiency, and unique destination.
Furthermore, when considering activities highlighting the business/MICE trip, MICE visitors say that top three activities are pre-arranged business meeting at the events, gala dinner at the convention, and cultural shows at the MICE venue. The result can be implied that MICE operators should focus on these activities to impress the MICE visitors. Meanwhile, TCEB can strengthen the communications activities by highlighting the key areas which are: the ease of travel within the country; good business opportunities; activities beyond MICE; world-class cuisine; and world-famous attraction, in order to match with the ideal brand image as the Top of Mind Destination for MICE.
“From the survey, we proposed the recommendation that Thailand’s MICE industry should focus on the current strengths. These strengths are: Offering with Convenience, Business Opportunity, and Uniqueness which include Service and Hospitality, Thai culture, and Thai cuisine” said Mr Sukit.
Besides the survey, key events that affirm the position of Thailand as the world-class MICE destination include a number of leading international conventions which take place in the country. Next year, Thailand will be a host country for The 86th UFI Global Congress 2019 which is scheduled for 6-9 November 2019 at the ICONSIAM. The event is expected to attract 450 professionals. In addition, in January 2019, the country will welcome SITE Global Conference 2019. The Society for Incentive Travel Excellence or SITE is comprised of more than 2,100 members and 29 local chapters in 84 countries. Thailand is the first country in the Southeast Asia region that won the right to host the SITE Global Conference. More than 400 of attendees are expected to gather at this event which will take place during 11-13 January 2019 at the Shangri-La Hotel, Bangkok.
“By hosting these international conventions, Thailand will get opportunities to showcase the county’s readiness and potentials to the event and incentive travel professionals from overseas countries. It will increase the chance for the country to be considered or recommended as the destination for MICE events in the future,” said Mr. Chiruit.
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